New Visitor and Conference Centre

Compton Acres is a listed garden situated on high ground overlooking Poole Harbour and the Purbeck Hills. It is a major tourist attraction for the area, and contains a sequence of landscapes including Italian and Japanese gardens.
The brief was to provide new visitors’ facilities to replace the piecemeal arrangements which had accumulated over many years. In conjunction with English Heritage we have designed the new complex to reflect the style of the adjacent Italian Garden. The new buildings are a series of villas of brick, render and clay tiles which are grouped around small courtyards, some open, and some covered. The approach to the gardens is through intimate spaces which prepare the visitor for the sequence of gardens which follow. The visit is completed by new garden retail facilities within simple oak-framed structures contained by a brick garden wall perimeter.

Construction commenced in January 2003, the Phase I entrance and retail facilities were completed in June 2003. The Conference Centre and Banqueting Suite were completed in the summer of 2006.